An expansion pack, expansion set, supplement, or simply expansion is an addition to an existing role-playing game, tabletop game, video game or collectible card game. These add-ons usually add new game areas, weapons, objects, characters, or an extended storyline to an already-released game. While board game expansions are typically designed by the original creator, video game developers sometimes contract out development of the expansion pack to a third-party company, it may choose to develop the expansion itself, or it may do both. Board games and tabletop RPGs may have been marketing expansions since the 1970s, and video games have been releasing expansion packs since the 1980s, early examples being the Dragon Slayer games Xanadu Scenario II and Sorcerian. Other terms for the concept are module and, in certain games' marketing, adventure.
The price of an expansion pack is usually much less than that of the original game. As expansion packs consist solely of additional content, most require the original game in order to play. Games with many expansions often begin selling the original game with prior expansions, such as The Sims Deluxe Edition (The Sims with The Sims: Livin' Large). These bundles make the game more accessible to new players. When games reach the end of their lifespan, the publisher often releases a 'complete' or 'gold' collection which includes the game and all its subsequent expansions.
Stand-alone expansion pack is a stand-alone video game that has very close (often contextual) relationship with another base game but can technically be installed and played in the absence of the base game. For example, Act of War: High Treason and Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty are stand-alone expansion packs for Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines and Act of War: Direct Action. As far as the plot is concerned, High Treason is a sequel to Direct Action, while Beyond the Call of Duty and Behind Enemy Lines do not have any plots. It is also possible to install these expansion packs without installing their respective base games. However, players unfamiliar with the base games, will find the gameplay of the said expansion packs impossibly difficult.
In some cases, a stand-alone expansion pack such as Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death, or Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna includes the original game.
Expansion packs are most commonly released for PC games, but are becoming increasingly prevalent for video game consoles, particularly due to the popularity of downloadable content. The increasing number of multi-platform games has also led to the release of more expansion packs on consoles, especially stand-alone expansion packs (as described above). Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath, for example, requires the original Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars to play on the PC, but Xbox 360 versions of both the original Tiberium Wars and Kane's Wrath are available, neither of which require one another.
Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 was the first expansion pack released for the PlayStation. The game required the player to insert the London disc, remove it, insert the original Grand Theft Auto disc, remove it, then insert the London media again in order to play.
Collectible card games, or CCGs for short, are typically released as expansion sets, composed of booster packs. CCGs may be referred to as "living" or "dead", and living CCGs are routinely published with supplementary expansions. CCGs generally don't have a core set that is reprinted indefinitely, instead, they are retired and replaced with new expansions on a quarterly or bi-annual basis. Expansions usually introduce new rules, or game mechanics, expanding the games library of cards and rules set.
Galactic Civilizations is a turn-based strategy video game developed by Stardock and released in March 2003. The game is a remake of a OS/2 series of the same name. An expansion pack entitled Altarian Prophecy was released in 2004. A sequel, Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords, was released February 21, 2006. On May 14, 2015 Stardock released Galactic Civilizations III.Neverwinter Nights (series)
Neverwinter Nights is a series of video games developed by BioWare and Obsidian Entertainment, based on the Forgotten Realms campaign setting of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. It is unrelated to the 1991 online game of the same name distributed by AOL.Spore (2008 video game)
Spore is a 2008 life simulation real-time strategy single-player sandbox god game developed by Maxis and designed by Will Wright, released for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Covering many genres including action, real-time strategy, and role-playing games, Spore allows a player to control the development of a species from its beginnings as a microscopic organism, through development as an intelligent and social creature, to interstellar exploration as a spacefaring culture. It has drawn wide attention for its massive scope, and its use of open-ended gameplay and procedural generation. Throughout each stage, players are able to use various creators to produce content for their games. These are then automatically uploaded to the online Sporepedia and are accessible by other players for download.
Spore was released after several delays to generally favorable reviews. Praise was given for the fact that the game allowed players to create customized creatures, vehicles and buildings. However, Spore was criticized for its gameplay which was seen as shallow by many reviewers; GameSpot remarked: "Individual gameplay elements are extremely simple". Controversy surrounded Spore for SecuROM, its digital rights management software, which can potentially open the user's computer to security risks.Star Trek Online
Star Trek Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Cryptic Studios based on the Star Trek franchise. The game is set in the 25th century, 30 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. Star Trek Online is the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game within the Star Trek franchise and was released for Microsoft Windows in February 2010. At launch, the game required a game purchase and a recurring monthly fee. In January 2012, it relaunched with a tier of free-to-play access available. After a public beta testing period, a version of the game was released for OS X in March 2014. Due to technical issues with the port, support for OS X ended in February 2016. It was later released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in September 2016.The Sims 4
The Sims 4 is the fourth major title in the life simulation video game series The Sims. Developed by The Sims Studio and published by Electronic Arts, The Sims 4 was originally announced on May 6, 2013, and was released in North America on September 2, 2014 for Microsoft Windows. A Mac compatible version of the game was made available for digital download on February 17, 2015. The Sims 4 is the first PC game to top all-format charts in two years. The game has received mixed reviews since its release, with the majority of criticism directed towards its lack of content.Since its launch, it became the best selling PC game of 2014 and 2015. To date EA has released six expansion packs. The most recent is Get Famous, which was released on November 16, 2018. There have also been several "game packs" released, including Parenthood which allows the players to shape the characters' children and teenagers as they go through life, as well as free updates that include major changes such as the addition of a toddler life stage that was previously non-existent.Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six is a media franchise created by American author Tom Clancy about a fictional international counter-terrorist unit called "Rainbow". The franchise began with Clancy's novel Rainbow Six, which was adapted into a series of tactical first-person shooter video games.